Graduate architecture students Eric Laine and Suzanne Steelman have designed an award-winning residential-commercial project for Downtown Athens, GA that incorporates technological, philosophical, and aesthetic principles to enhance sustainability within the community.
Dubbed LiveWork, the project builds on the three pillars of sustainability (economy, environment, and society) by offering residents control of the commercial space below them. Laine and Steelman argue that the arrangement encourages enterpreneurialism, ensures around-the-clock occupancy of a space, and invests people in their surrounding communities. For those residents who would rather not manage a retail space, they have reserved the option to lease it to a homeowners' association.
The design also implements a slew of sustainability features, such as a "green screen" trellis for plants to block the sun in the summer and wither away to let sun in for the winter. Solar panels on the roof would provide a surplus of energy, which could be sold to a utility company to help pay off the cost of the project.
The design calls for three adjacent units, which would each house a two-, four-, and six-person household.